The 10 Best Bachelor’s in Visual Arts Online

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As visual artists embark on their career, many are being more strategic about their degree choices. There are growing lucrative careers in web design, advertising, graphics, photography, and many other areas where skills are put to great use. In order to make these dream careers a reality, without having to relocate, undergraduate students are enrolling in online bachelor’s degree programs in visual arts.

The following ranking represents the top 10 online bachelor’s degrees in visual arts. These schools were selected from research based on the key elements of an online visual arts degree. For more general information regarding online learning visit our ranking of the top online colleges.

In determining the order of this ranking, we awarded points based on:

  • Range of visual arts academics, blending studio and career-focused curriculum (1-5 points)
  • Versatile instructor faculty with professional artist backgrounds  (1-4 points)
  • Students testimonials and alumni success stories (1-3 points)
  • Visual arts-related student support and career counseling  (1-3 points)
  • An additional point was awarded for noteworthy features that made it a top college for an entertainment management major.

In the event of a tie in points, the school with the lower net price appears higher in the ranking

Tuition and other data were sourced from each college’s prospective website.

The following are the top 10 online bachelor’s degrees in visual arts.

#10 –  Liberty University

Program Website

Points: 13
Program Tuition: $464.00 per-credit-hour

A college particularly popular with Christian students, Liberty University provides a wide spectrum of faith-based degrees. Liberty’s online division includes an online BA in graphic design;  this visual arts online bachelor’s includes a 180-hour internship and a comprehensive curriculum in critical design skills. Liberty University is a highly affordable degree option, and online students are provided all related texts and software at no additional cost; for added peace of mind, LU’s graphic design tuition has not been raised for three years and counting.

#9 – National University

Program Website

Points: 14
Program Tuition: $1,665.00 per 4.5 quarter-unit course ($370.00 per quarter-unit)

Founded by a retired Navy lieutenant, National University is designed in particular for the adult-learner. NU educates students from all 50 states and 65 countries worldwide. Online visual arts bachelor’s students can find a BA in digital media design or in film arts. The digital media design program combines coursework in technology, animation, visual communication skills, and many other key career skills; the BA in film arts explores contemporary cinematic techniques, professional filmmaking, storytelling, video editing, and other areas that enhance one’s role in the industry. National University is known for its military personnel programs, accommodating the specific needs of this student population

#8 –  Southern New Hampshire University

Program Website

Points: 14
Program Tuition: $320.00 per-credit-hour

Founded in 1884, Northwestern State University of Louisiana is a student-centered institution. NSUL’s online MA in art is a low-residency, 33-credit degree program; students have the option to attend two campus intensives in the summer months or attend classes at the NSUL for the entirety of their first semester.  Those enrolled in the online masters in art have the option to focus their degree in design, photography, or new media. Regardless of concentration, NSUL’s curriculum is designed to prepare students for long-term, stable arts careers; graduates of this renowned program have found positions at museums, universities, creative agencies, and many more settings.

#7 – The Art Institute of Pittsburgh – Online

Program Website

Points: 15
Program Tuition: $470.00 per-credit-hour

A modern college with innovative resources, the Art Institute of Pittsburgh Online is increasingly popular. Among this college’s greatest assets is its diversity in academics, and undergraduate visual arts students will find much of what they seek online. The online visual arts bachelor’s include BS degrees in graphic and web design, media arts and animation, photography, interior design, game art and design, among others. AI online value its relationships with both current and former students, and recent online alumni have reported a highly positive degree experience. AI’s flexible online environment provides interaction with peers, easy access to materials, and an intuitive interface.

#6 – Rocky Mountain College of Art and Design

Program Website

Points: 15
Program Tuition: $487.00 per-credit-hour

A progressive, liberal school with competitive academics, Rocky Mountain College of Art and Design is highly praised by alumni. For visual arts online bachelor’s students, there are multiple undergraduate degrees to suit many goals; these degrees include fashion design, interior design, photography, 3D animation, and graphic design. Regardless of degree choice, RMCAD is known to be attentive and focused on the individual artistic goals of its students. Graduates of Rocky Mountain College have gone on to creative roles at Facebook, LEGO, Reebok, ESPN, Adobe, Nickelodeon, Google, and many other high-profile settings.

#5 – Lindenwood University

Program Website

Points: 16
Program Tuition: $930.00 per-credit-hour

Based in Missouri, Lindenwood University is revered for its supportive faculty, curriculum, and flexible degree programs. Among Lindenwood online visual arts degrees include a BA in digital art and a BA in digital and web design; both programs are considered interdisciplinary, as they integrate studio art, art history, and other foundational courses within the degree focus. LU online art graduates have found work in graphic design, video production, art direction, advertising, and much more. Lindenwood has state-of-the-art online classrooms, and many of the bachelor’s courses are offered in an optional accelerated format.

#4 – Prescott College

Program Website

Points: 17
Program Tuition: $598.00 per-credit-hour

Prescott College

Since 1966, Prescott College has been a name synonymous with diversity, independent thinking, and progressive values. PC carries its values to its online learning, providing numerous affordable degree opportunities. Prescott has a highly unique BFA in interdisciplinary arts and letters, a program that allows for exploration in more than one study area. Online students pursuing this degree complete coursework in two out of three disciplines; these disciplines include visual arts, writing, and literature. The online BFA is a hybrid program, meaning there is some campus appearance required. Prescott has flexible courses, and students may also earn credits from their pre-college life experience.

#3 – Arizona State University

Program Website

Points: 17
Program Tuition: $520.00 per-credit-hour

An enormous institution, Arizona State University continues to expand its academic offerings. ASU’s Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts is the largest arts and design school in the nation.  ASU offers a vast range of distance-learning opportunities, one of which includes an online BFA in art with a concentration in digital photography; for online students in the visual arts, this degree provides leadership from current professional artists. The BFA in digital photography has courses in photography now, the photograph in the age of information, advanced digital photography, the still image in digital culture, and more.

#2 – Academy of Art University

Program Website

Points: 18
Program Tuition: $873.00 per-credit-hour

Established in 1929, Academy of Art University is the nation’s largest private art and design school. This excellent school offers an online BFA degree, a virtual program that encourages students to build a peer community. For undergraduate online visual arts students, there are numerous concentration options for Academy’s BFA; among these concentrations include non-figurative and figurative painting, printmaking, drawing, jewelry design, and other specialties. Academy of Art has an expansive, interactive career services department, providing assistance in resumes, portfolio creation, networking, and many other areas of guidance.

#1 – Savannah College of Art and Design

Program Website

Points: 19
Program Tuition: $35,000.00 per-year, full-time enrollment 

Since 1978, Savannah College of Art and Design has been a top school for career-driven artists. Over its history, SCAD has expanded its campus locations and online degrees. SCAD’s flexible e-learning degrees include online bachelor’s degrees for visual artists; among these degrees include a BA or BFA in graphic design, a BA in interactive design and game development, a BA in photography, or a BA in sequential art. Regardless of visual arts degree choice, online students are guaranteed the best in interdisciplinary curriculum, a faculty of professional artists, and a student-centered learning experience across-the-board. SCAD alumni include academy award winners, high-profile comic illustrators, successful entrepreneurs, and many others.

The preceding list of ranked colleges represents the top 10 online bachelor’s degrees in visual arts.

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